Building an impressive social media network isn’t too difficult, but then what? Many sales professionals boast 500+ contacts on LinkedIn, the premiere social network for business, but are they gaining anything tangible from their network? Not without a little nurturing….
Your social media network will be little more than a static list unless you take the opportunity to interact with your contacts. It’s like going to a party and standing in a corner by yourself; you won’t get much out of it and eventually people will forget that you’re there while they chat with the friendly guy who has approached them with an interesting conversation.
Schedule some time each day to nurture your social media network, it needn’t take long. Here are some ideas for interacting with your network and developing those important business relationships.
Social Media Network Nurturing
- Like, or better yet, comment on your connection’s status updates
- Congratulate them on promotions, new jobs or deals
- Share their content
- Joining LinkedIn Groups, Twitter Live Chats and Google Hangouts is great, actively participating in them is better
- Reply to questions that your connections post – publicly – to demonstrate your expertise
- Share content from independent and editorial sources, adding your own commentary
- Freely offer your advice, opinion and insights to establish yourself as a dependable resource
- Introduce two contacts in your social media network who you think may benefit from the introduction
- Let your contacts know about events or meetings that may interest them – invite them to attend with you
A little time invested each day will soon have your social media network buzzing with activity and help you nurture those relationships into solid business connections.
For more information about establishing and nurturing your social media network, we offer social selling training for sales professionals.
Please welcome guest blogger Craig Elias, the creator of Trigger Event Selling™, author of the award-winning sales book “SHiFT! Harness The Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS”
To understand Trigger Event Selling™ it’s critical to first understand that prospects (potential customers) are always in one of three different Buying Modes:
Status Quo is when prospects are happy with what they have and see no reason to change. Here the odds of making a sale in the next little while is pretty much zero.
Searching for Alternatives is when prospects are unhappy with what they have and are actively searching for alternative solutions. This is the point at which a prospect typically reaches out to potential suppliers. Research by the Aberdeen Group says the odds of making a sale are now about 16% – or one out of every six or seven.
In between these two, however, lies the buying mode with the greatest opportunity.
Window of Dissatisfaction™ is the lesser known of the three buying modes and exists when prospects know what they have is no longer sufficient but they have not found time to start searching for alternatives…YET!
Be the first vendor to reach prospects while they are in the Window of Dissatisfaction™ and you get to help them define the problem, design the solution and you start developing a relationship before the competition even knows there is an opportunity!
Research by Forrester and InnerSell shows that when you do this your odds of winning the sale are, on average, 74%.
In other words you are 5 times more likely to win the sale just because you were the first vendor to proactively reach a prospect while they were in the Window of Dissatisfaction™.
Trigger Event Selling™ is about understanding and leveraging the Trigger Events that shift prospects from one buying mode to the next.
- The first Trigger Event is one that makes someone want to do something different. This first Trigger Event pushes prospects out of the Status Quo and shifts them into the Window of Dissatisfaction™.
- The next Trigger Event is typically one that has people understand that they can afford to do something about the problem and they move into the buying mode of Searching for Alternatives.
- Often prospects don’t buy even after the second Trigger Event, they need a third one – the Trigger Event that helps them justify their decision to others.
All three Trigger Events are excellent opportunities to move a sale forward but the most important Trigger Event is the first one because it allows you to start the problem definition and relationship building process when you have no competition.
If you want to learn the best Trigger Events for what you sell you can download, at no-charge, the Won Sales Analysis™ template and instructions at WonSalesAnalysis.com.
About the Author
Craig Elias is the creator of Trigger Event Selling™, author of the award-winning sales book “SHiFT! Harness The Trigger Events That TURN PROSPECTS INTO CUSTOMERS”, and a contributing author to the #1 Selling Book on both Amazon and The Wall Street Journal “Masters of Sales”.
Craig’s knowledge of Trigger Events resulted in his first company, SHiFT Selling, Inc. winning the $1,000,000 prize in Tim Draper’s original Global Billion Dollar Idea Pitch Competition, and earned him coverage on NBC news, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The National Post, and Sales and Marketing magazine, and having his company twice named by Dow Jones as one of the 50 most promising companies in North America.
How much time should you spend on social selling?
Like anything worthwhile, it takes an investment of your time to establish and maintain your social selling presence. In terms of your work day as a sales rep, though, it doesn’t take a LOT of time, certainly less time than you spent making cold calls, back in the day. Our social selling start-up program can show you how to establish a daily social selling routine that takes just 30-60 minutes a day.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but over time your results will improve consistently if you follow your daily routine. Content – relevant articles, blog posts and ideas that you write, or curate from other sources – is the enabler in this process, demonstrating your awareness and subject matter expertise to your network. Every day you need to:
- Find or create content
- Listen for relevant content, actions and conversations
- Connect with the right people, groups and companies
- Engage with your network, and
- Amplify your content
It’s pretty straightforward, during your training you will learn a 12 step program to establish your daily social selling routine. We will show you how to set up a systematic process for finding and sharing content and how to determine what level of engagement your content is getting.
We will teach you how to leverage social media tools like LinkedIn to keep up with your prospect’s changing work environment and best practices for messaging. LinkedIn and Twitter offer numerous tools and tactics to keep your social selling routine on track and your network segmented and organized so that you can share appropriate content to the right buyers at just the right point in their buying journey.
Your daily social selling routine will soon replace the inefficient and tedious phone call and email, phone call and email approach that many sales professionals are now relying on to connect with prospects and drive new business.
Social media channels are ubiquitous, according to Nielsen’s new Social Media Report. More than 25% of the time that people spend online is spent using social media networks. That’s a figure you can’t afford to ignore. Our WSI internet marketing agency understands how people use social media and how it can help your business.
Many of these people (over 80%) are looking for something to buy, but they aren’t visiting Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter to read ads for the products or services they’re looking for. They are looking for information from those they trust:
- Facebook friends;
- LinkedIn contacts, and
- People (or organizations) they follow on Twitter.
They place a great deal of trust in what their peers say and they are much more likely to buy something that has been recommended by someone in their social circles.
Whether your business has a presence on these sites or not, you probably already understand the power behind social media networking and how it can help you get your brand in front of your potential clients.
More Benefits of Social Media Networking
- It can help you sell: As a business owner, you might find it difficult to mass-market your products or serices using conventional mediums like television or billboards. These mediums are expensive and unfocussed, making it hard to target any kind of niche market. Social media can help you by establishing and improving relationships. When your Facebook Fans and Twitter Followers trust you, they’re more likely to buy from you.
- You can create brand advocates: Social media primes the pump of collaboration. Ask a question on Twitter followed by the hashtag #Twoogle and all sorts of people from all over will leap to answer your question (it’s like the “Twitter Google”). If you work on building relationships with your followers, they are more likely to exchange information about you and review your product – essentially creating brand advocates for your business.
We are Social Media Experts
If you need some help with your Social Media Networks, ask us. Our experienced internet marketing consultants can help establish your presence on appropriate social media channels.